MOSCOW (AFP) - The Russian freestyle skier who was hospitalised after a serious accident at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games said on Wednesday she has no feeling from the waist down.
Maria Komissarova, 23, was flown to Germany for treatment for a fractured spine following a crash in training for the ski cross event at Sochi 2014, by far the worst accident of the Winter Games.
She has undergone several operations in Russia and Germany after the accident but until now there had been no specific information about her condition.
However, Komissarova revealed in a message on her Instagram account that she was currently paralysed from the waist down.
"I do not feel my body lower than my belly button," she wrote. "But I am strong and I know that some day I will definitely be on my feet again."
She added: "I do not know where to begin but I do not want to hide from everyone, as everyone is supporting me so much, thank you."
Komissarova posted a picture of herself lying down with her fiance Alexei Chaadayev, also a Russian skier, saying that she would not have stayed sane without his support.
"If Lyosha (Alexei) had not been there likely I would have gone mad," she said.
"He is my god and even in these moments I continue to stay happy, even though it is very hard for me."
"All this time he does not go away from the bed and gives me all his energy. Our life is continuing and I pray and believe that everything will be fine!"
While still hospitalised in Russia, Komissarova had received a personal visit from President Vladimir Putin at her bedside.
It was soon after that visit that the decision was taken to evacuate the injured skier to a clinic in Munich, Germany, which has treated several high-profile Russian athletes in the past.
Ski-cross is one of the most frenetic and risky events of the Games, where several skiers race down a slope filled with jumps, obstacles and banked corners.